Since proper form seems like step one in mastering your gym routine, it may sound like it’d be the most self-explanatory part. However, we find it’s where the most common errors come into play! Seasoned pros and beginners alike both need some form tips every so often.
We’re here to help and walk you through perfecting your form!
What are Common Form Mistakes
If you’re doing a squat and your knees are touching, immediately stop and try again! This can cause some serious pain in your spine and lower body. Our best tip for a perfect squat is leading with your glutes and imagining that you’re sitting down (carefully & slowly) into a chair.
This can happen when you’re lifting weights that are a tad bit too heavy for you. You’ll see your elbows start to wander instead of staying strong and close to your rib cage. If this happens, you can cause damage to different areas of your upper body!
“How to Strain Your Back 101.” This can not only cause damage to your spine but can also seriously limit the amount of weight that you’re able to lift! You wouldn’t pick up a heavy box with an arched back, so definitely don’t lift a heavy barbell that way. Always keep your back straight during deadlifts.
If you’ve ever heard someone say, “keep your body straight and your core engaged.” This is what they’re trying to keep you from doing. A raised bottom is most often done when someone improperly does a plank. When this is done, it can cause pinched muscles and joints. Ouch!
A strong, neutral spine is essentially Rule #0 when in the gym. Keep good posture at all times!
Properly adjusting your equipment leads to successful strength training. You don’t want to overstretch your body when working out or engage the wrong area. To make sure you’re using the equipment correctly, you can always read the description directly on the equipment or do a quick search. There are no stupid questions when it comes to exercising!
Are there Consequences to Having Improper Form?
In short- yes. Though they may not be permanent or severe consequences, they’ll definitely throw a wrench in your progress. Improper form not only may lead to injuries, but it can also exhaust you in the wrong ways! If you’re lifting weights that are too heavy and with improper form, you may see fewer gains and experience more pain.
If you feel as though you resonated with the improper form examples we gave previously, it’s not too late to make the correct adjustments that you need to nail your form! Slow and controlled movements win the race when it comes to strength training.
How do I know if I have Proper Form?
You may not know how to take these tips and translate them into an actual day of strength training either at home or at the gym, which is totally okay! Practice the movement without weights in front of a mirror before you get after it with your weighted equipment. If you still aren’t sure, you can always film yourself to double-check, or even send your video to someone who’s knowledgeable on the subject and ask them to check your form for you. The Fit By Katy app always provides videos on how to do the exercises, so if you need help comparing, we’ve got your back.
But mostly, if you’re in pain, stop. A healthy burn versus pain is noticeable. One workout shouldn’t put you out of any physical activity for days.
Follow Us for Form Tips
If you’d like more coaching and tips on perfecting your form. Follow us on Instagram and TikTok. As we said previously, form is step one, but it’s definitely not the easiest part of learning a strength training routine. Once you get the basics down, you’ll be a form pro in no time.